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Robert Andrews Millikan. Portrait of R.A. Millikan (1868-1953), US physicist. He studied classics as an undergraduate, but he then developed an interest in physics, gaining a doctorate from Columbia University, USA, in 1895. In Chicago, USA, between 1909 and 1913 he determined the charge on an electron by introducing charges on to oil droplets between charged plates. Adjustment of the voltage between the plates to counterbalance the force of gravity on the charged droplets allowed the charge on the droplets to be calculated. The charges were always to be multiples of a single value; the charge on an electron. He won the Nobel physics prize in 1923.
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